Judge: Seattle plastic surgery provider illegally blocked negative reviews

A federal judge has ruled that Seattle plastic surgery provider Allure Esthetic illegally blocked customers from posting negative reviews.

The U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday found that Allure and its owner, Dr. Javad Sajan, forced more than 10,000 patients to illegally sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) before receiving treatment. The agreements were part of the clinic's pre-service consultations, and in many instances, patients would only find out they had to sign an NDA after paying a nonrefundable $100 consultation fee.

This motion comes as part of a consumer protection lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The lawsuit also accuses Allure of digitally altering "before and after" photos, intimidating and bribing customers to remove negative reviews, ordering employees to post fake positive reviews, and using hundreds of fake email accounts to take skincare rebates intended for patients.

"Online reviews are often the first stop when consumers are determining who to trust," said Ferguson. "That’s especially critical when those services deal with a patient’s health and safety. We will take action against those who illegally stop Washingtonians from sharing reviews with the public."

Allure does business under several names in the Seattle, Lynnwood and Kirkland areas: Allure Esthetic, Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery, Seattle Plastic Surgery, Alderwood Surgical Center and Northwest Face & Body.

According to complaints received by the Attorney General's Office (AGO) between 2017–2019, Allure required patients to sign NDAs before even getting treatment. The terms of the agreement stated anything under a "four-star" rating was considered a negative review, and required patients to not say anything that would "hurt the reputation" of the clinic. Patients were also made to "pay monetary damages to the practice for any losses" if they posted a negative review and refused to take it down, which the AGO asserts is a HIPAA violation.

Allure would then prominently show off their "five-star" Google and Yelp ratings on their website, which the AGO asserts would bring in more customers, who largely use online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor.

Allure discontinued these pre-service NDAs in March 2022.


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The trial is scheduled for September.